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Thursday, July 31, 2014



GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY Film Review



Before we get started, I should note that at this point, you're either a fan of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, or you aren't. It is that plain and simple. If you've enjoyed all the other MCU films, then you will absolutely love what Guardians Of the Galaxy has to offer. To be honest few films these days are as much fun as the films that Marvel Studios are putting out right now. Not only are these films so much deep respect and faithfulness to their source material whenever they can, but they also never try to downplay the "other-worldly qualities of what makes these comic book heroes so great and inspiring (I'm looking at you Fox's X-men franchise). They embrace the comic booky-nature of all of these characters and don't portray it as satire. Because let's face it, while there are jokes at almost every juncture of these films, the heroes are always taking the situations they are in very seriously, therefore we're laughing while feeling like there are genuine stakes at hand. It makes the whole experience much more enjoyable. Guardians of the Galaxy does what Marvel does best, give us an entertaining film that leaves you wanting even more. 

Guardians Of The Galaxy shows us the other side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. 99% of the film is based in space, which is what made the film somewhat a refreshing change in the way comic book movies and heroes are portrayed in recent years, whether be it DC or Marvel. James Gunn came in and made Guardians Of The Galaxy more palatable to the reality so far in the Marvel film base, hitting it off where Thor: The Dark World had teased in the mid credits scene. Much like the Avengers, the story is straight forward. A band of misfits must come together, put their differences aside and fight as one when evil threatens the galaxy. However, James Gunn succeeded just as much as Whedon did with The Avengers by giving us fun and relatable characters and some cool character interactions. We learn most the character's backstories through these interactions so there's no unnecessary flashbacks and what not.

To be honest, It was hard to believe that a movie of this calibre can make you think as much as it thrills you and makes you laugh. Yet, this film does just that. It's very fun and weird, something you would expect no less from a director that crafted Slither. He presents the entire film in a way that can be savored. Some moments from the film are dramatic and yet other aspects are just plain old fun kick-butt action scenes. It's a perfect blend and this movie is so much fun. While the films follows along the cliched story of good vs. evil, there are also some strong elements of character development present in the film. 


Speaking of which, the cast is exceptional. No pay cheque grabbing here; every cast member dives into their role headfirst. Despite some of the bigger names in the cast, including Glenn Close and John C. Reily, the cast is very notable. There are no "sore thumbs" in sight, everyone plays their roles perfectly. It is so well acted with Chris Pratt as the womanizer Outlaw, Peter Quil aka Star Lord (Who?!) Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Vin Diesel as Groot, Dave Bautista as Drax. Bradley Cooper virtually steals the movie as the badass Rocket Racoon. He is the breakout star. Benicio Del Toro as the Collector was a weird and he still retains that performance we saw in the mid credits scene of Thor: The Dark World. Lee Pace was unrecognizable as Ronan the Accuser. He was great in the role and seemed like he was having fun portraying the crazy evil villain (even though the reasoning behind his motives were a bit unclear). There are too many other names to mention, but rest assured everyone's sublime.

Guardians Of The Galaxy, much like Thor before it, proves that, in the right hands, a comic tale that appears silly on the surface can have hidden depths when properly plumbed. Sure, the film has elements that, on the face of it, may lead a bit to some audience snickers (There's a ****ing talking Tree and Raccoon in the film), but the creative behind Guardians Of The Galaxy, including director James Gunn, manage to develop a story for the misfits that deals with elements of tragedy, pathos, selflessness and, perhaps even more surprisingly, involving character development. GOTG is more about the lead characters at its core, again akin to Iron Man, than some other comic book films and this draws the audience into its tale. Gunn also proves to be a master at creating an epic summer blockbuster. Apart from a few dodgy moments, the visual effects are stunning; in fact, this is probably the most visually impressive film I have seen from Marvel thus far. The production design is also beautiful; Xander is one of the most incredible movie landscapes I have ever seen (even though it somewhat reminded me of Elysium). Credit must go to the FX and art direction departments. The scenes on Knowhere were the best scenes in the film. The set design was great. Seeing the everyday lives of the people in Knowhere (there's a scene where our main characters go in a pub and engage in a brawl), the streets, markets etc was all a joy to watch.




The film itself is well paced throughout and full of dazzling action sequences along with top of the market special effects. The design of the Millano (Star Lord's ship) interior is ingenious and the film makes constant references to the source material, which is sure to please all die-hard fans. Finally, it's important to note just how strong the production is from top to bottom. James Gunn's visual style fits in wonderfully with the tone, story, and theme of the film, not to mention the approach that nicely compliments the set design This film is so entertaining and does what no one has done before. It makes the Guardians of the Galaxy property cool. This an amazing adaptation of the Guardians of The Galaxy universe, which captures the human and philosophical elements of the old while giving it a fresh and modern update. The finale is absolutely thrilling. A total joy which left me grinning.

With the introduction of these new characters, every action set piece in this movie is both impressive and absolute fun to watch. What makes them even better is that they are accompanied by a gripping story with plenty of shocking and even emotional twists and turns. Even after seeing aliens invade New York in "The Avengers," this movie's space opera approach to storytelling gives a sense that the stakes are higher than ever in the Marvel Universe. Fear not though, this movie is far from a dark one, and there is plenty of that good old Marvel humor to give some levity and balance. I'm pretty sure that audiences won't be prepared for how funny the movie alone is. Guardians Of The Galaxy is an extravagant looking film dripping with spellbinding special effects, a fantastic cast overflowing with talent, and a captivating story that holds your interest from beginning to end. For a film I hadn't given much thought to (when it was announced at SDCC'12, I was like who?!), I was very surprised to find myself thoroughly enjoying Guardians Of The Galaxy. Its a comic book movie that stands out from a lot that have come before, and is a genuinely entertaining move on all accounts.



Overall, Guardians of the Galaxy is another tick in Marvel's book of successfully bringing a new franchise to the audience. It is intense, funny, and emotional at times and gives your brain a nice workout because it's also very smart and full of nice twists and turns (even though some of them are predictable). This film offers a fair amount of heart amongst its waves of depth while also delivering impressive action sequences. Words almost don't seem to do the film justice. The film is fun, full of heart, and the definition of what an introductory superhero film should be. Not to mention, it's an action movie, things go boom, punches are thrown, and people fly and shoot stuff. The fact that there's an emotionally charged story underneath all of the awesome action is an icing on the cake. Marvel fans are going to fall in love with this one, especially with Marvel introducing the cosmic side of their cinematic universe and introducing more villains and characters from the comics .This film is different from any other superhero film before it, and it all works perfectly especially since there's a talking Raccoon and walking Tree. When some other characters show up, they are there because it is required to tell the story and not just to be a fan service. Bottom line is, grab your popcorn, drinks (or whatever you prefer eating in the theatre) and enjoy the ride of this one. It's rare to get a film like this in August, so definitely go watch it! 


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Contributor to Superhero Movie News. Film fanatic, Number 1 Iron Man fan.Undercover Hydra Agent, Film critic, Drummer and hardcore fan of rock music.